I’ve got nothing today, so let’s kick off our open thread a little early this week. My question to you: If you had to set the 2011 Padres lineup, what would it look like?
Of course, other topics are fair game as well. Whatever floats your boat…
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- More pitching appearances are coming with zero days’ rest (Baseball-Reference). The number was around 10% in 1920, 15% in the ’50s, and 20% or more since the early-’90s.
- Ladies’ first: Siegal makes history at Tribe camp (MLB.com). Rob Dibble must be seething. I love this quote: “If you tell a girl she can’t play baseball, what else will she believe she can’t do? This is the greatest game on earth, so why shouldn’t we all play it?” Amen.
- MLB Dreamjob (MLB.com). From the press release: “The winner of this Dream Job promotion will move to NYC to star in a baseball web series and be a part of a live interactive experience for baseball fans that will include watching every MLB game over the course of the entire baseball season (simultaneously when multiple games are on at the same time), blogging opinions, interacting with fans through social media and appearing in video blogs.” If this sounds like fun to you, give it a shot.
- 2011 Top 100 Prospects (Baseball America). Padres on the list include RHP Casey Kelly (no. 31), RHP Simon Castro (no. 58), and 1B Anthony Rizzo (no. 75). Notable omission: Jaff Decker, who appears to have slipped in the eyes of many evaluators. I find it highly unlikely that there are 100 better prospects in the minor leagues than Decker, but whatever. There’s something to be said for being underestimated.
- Padres Affiliate Blog Network? (Watson Files). Quoth Dan: “So in the near future, we could have the start of a Padres Affiliate Blog Network. We talked about having guest entries from one another, updating Fort Wayne readers on how our alums are doing, profiling TinCaps who get promoted to Lake Elsinore so the Storm fans know what they’re getting, etc.” Yes, please!
- Dear Padres Fans: This Is Curt Flood’s Fault… (Avenging Jack Murphy). It’s worth noting (or not) that former Padres first baseman Willie Montanez was part of the trade that Flood rejected.
- Jack Glasscock (SABR Baseball Biography Project). A friend of mine who isn’t a baseball fan happened to mention this guy the other day (life is random that way)… kinda cool. Glasscock was a darned good player in his day (kinda sorta the 19th century version of Garry Templeton), and as nicknames go, they don’t get much better than “Pebbly Jack.”
- Heard, but not seen … (Who’s your Padre?). Corey Brock is blogging again and shares an amusing Orlando Hudson anecdote — the first of many to come this year, I’m sure.
- Is it Better to be an Elite Run Producing or Run Preventing Team? (Beyond the Box Score). Survey says: yes.
- Padres giving prospects extra attention (Padres.com). From the article: “A group of 30 of the Padres’ top Minor League players will report early to Peoria this week to take part in the team’s annual minicamp for many of its top lower-level prospects.” Among the participants is 2009 first-round draft pick Donavan Tate, who is trying to get his injury-plagued career back on track… Speaking of Tate, Peter Friberg wonders whether the Padres would have been better off not signing him.
Not exactly what dreams are made of.
Bartlett’s not an ideal leadoff hitter but getting on-base is the best of his offensive traits. Headley hasn’t earned the third spot but at this point in his career, he needs to step up and take it, and I have faith that he’ll be better than expected. I have less faith in Ludwick and I don’t really think he’s a legitimate cleanup hitter but Jed sure does and, in light of a better option, I’ll default to his thinking. And with Maybin, I want him hitting with the least amount of pressure as possible. I’m not actually sure if that’s the seventh or eighth spot but whichever it is, that’s where he should be.
I have a feeling, like many Padres teams in the past, that this will be very feast or famine type lineup. There is really not a consistent bat in the lineup but all have the ability to go on hot and cold streaks. I guess we should just keep our fingers crossed that they don’t all coincide with one another.
…Or SC, that if their streaks coincide, it is only the hot streaks that coincide…
1. Venable RF L (as he goes so goes this team this year offensively)
2. Hudson 2b S
3. Hawpe 1b L
4. Ludwick LF R
5. Headley 3b S
6. Hundley C R
7. Bartlett SS R
8. Maybin CF R
*DH Cantu R
1. Cantu R 1b-3b-2b
2. Denorfia R OF
3. Zaun C S (although I could see him starting the year on the DL and at his age and his
price if Johnson shows he can be a #2 it might be Johnson)
4. Frandsen R 2b-ss
5. No idea but it will be someone who can play OF and bat from the left side (I really like Cunningham but maybe they want him to get ABs so maybe Patterson. But it I wouldn’t be shocked if this might be a surprise pick kind of like Denorfia last year. If Baxter hits and starts getting practice in the OF maybe he’s this year’s Matt Stairs…..
1. Latos R
2. Richard L
3. Harang R
4. Stauffer R (but my guess is his arm is better off in the long relief role, we’ll find out)
5. Luebke L (my hope although I could see LeBlanc here in a “showcase for a trade role” or
even better he can show he can be consistent for an extended time with his fb)
1. C Bell R
2. Adams R
3. Gregerson R
4. Frieri R
5. Thatcher L
6. Qualls R
7. Moseley R
For offense, this teams goes as Venable goes. Barring injuries or just a steeper than expected decline in skills, the combination of Hawpe, Ludwick and Cantu should be decent. Hudson should be decent at least. I also think Headley, with Cantu spelling him, might finally have a .280/.350/.450 at the plate. I can live with that for a few years, especially with his defense. And I don’t know what he’ll put up but the next 3 years will be his best, whatever that brings (hopefully at least one year with 20 hrs). The X factor, of course, is Maybin. All we need is T Gwynn jr defense and any kind of offense. But if…..
I actually think we’ll be okay at SP. Not the talent of SF or Phi but like last year we’ll put a guy out there everyday who has a decent to good chance of leaving after 6 giving up 3 or less. Latos obviously having a higher ceiling than that. He just has to keep healthy and finish out the year. The advantage of starting the year with LeBlanc is that it leaves Luebke and maybe Moseley available to fill in for any injuries. Late in the year depending on how he’s pitching, Castro might be able to fill in. But if we lose 3 SPs at some point, don’t know who we’d go to then, especially if LeBlanc is gone or proves ineffective, but not a lot of MLB teams that can deal effectively with that problem without trading for another SP.
As for the bullpen, we don’t have the MLB ready minor league depth we had last year so I’m actually more worried about injuries to the bullpen than SPs. That said if Qualls is healthy I wouldn’t be bothered to have any of the first 6 pitching in the last 2 innings with Adams and Gregerson our back up closers. So anyone we pulled up would only have to eat innings (like Mujica) or do long relief so our exposure isn’t too bad unless we lose a bunch of arms at once.
As for our bench, getting Cantu completely changed my opinion. While we’re clearly weaker at C, Cantu is this year’s Hairston jr, but won’t have quite the versatility to play SS except in an emergency. I do feel that signs are pointing up on Cabrera. If he has a strong start at AAA I’ll feel much better depth wise. And if our backup middle infielder (likely Frandsen) isn’t playing well by midseason, and Black is looking to rest O Dawg and Bartlett later in the year, there might be enough ABs to bring him back up. I think how good I feel about the bench will depend on how well the guy who gets the last spot is playing. The one downside is that for most of last year, we had a guy to play multiple positions (Hairston) and then the late innings guy to bring home some runs (Stairs). Right now Cantu is the guy for both roles so that may affect how Black handles his bench.
Last year I wished in lived in Vegas because the over/under on wins was way low. I said 85 last year, and like a lot of others, that’s where I’m thinking this year. However, I don’t think Colorado will be nearly as bad as last year. It’ll be hard to stay with them and SF. AZ and LA are different matters. For all the disadvantages of SD and its small payroll, there is sure as heck a value to playing in a division with only 5 teams and without the east coast payrolls of NYM and Philly and those of the Chi and Stl.
And one random obervation. Living in DC, I saw Antonelli play here a few years ago when he was up. He had some good swings here, though he didn’t get the hits. But I remembered thinking he hit good counts and had good swings. Not surprised he ended up in Washington.
I wonder if hitting 8th is really a good spot for a young player trying to find himself. Seems to me that in the NL, which is where we are, they are oftne pitched around. Maybin has been struggling with the K and may not be patient enough to lay off pitches out of the zone thus exacerbating his struggles.
BA sure likes the Royals prospects, as do others, from what I’ve read. Would be nice to see them have some success after all the years in the doldrums they’ve had. The Braves seem to have some arms in their system. Wonder if they’ll hire Mazzone again?
You make a good point which is why I played around with him and Bartlett. I think people expect too much offensively from Bartlett, I don’t see him in the top two spots unless others fail to hit and/or he’s on fire. He might be better in that 8 slot as you imply, plus if Maybin hits in front of him, with his speed, he might be able to scratch a couple more runs across before the pitchers spot is up and with Bartlett putting the ball in play and Maybin having gotten into scoring position with his legs.
Bottom line is Maybin, unless he blows up, and Bartlett should be in the 6-8 spots in the lineup and likely at 7-8.
I guess i’m just an optimist, and think that just maybe, some of these guys will actually play up to what we think they’re capable off. If Maybin doesn’t work out at leadoff (hopefully because he starts crushing the ball), I like Venable there, with Bartlett 2 and Hudson 3. That said, it seems like the lineup is made up of two #2 hitters (Bartlett and Hudson), three *potential* #3 hitters (Maybin, Headley and Venable) and 3 #5/6 hitters (Hawpe, Cantu and Ludwick). None of the guys have the speed/plate discipline to really bat lead off, and there isn’t an elite hitter to bat #4. I like a lot of the pieces that the Hoyer brought in (esp the new middle INF and Maybin), but considering how little power the team has, I imagine that the offence is going to be very inconsistent (though probably better than we think it’s going to be)
Hudson -most professional hitter
Bartlett -OBP of two years ago makes him attractive #2 hitter
Hawpe/Cantu -neither would be fazed by potential expectations of batting third
Ludwick -who knows who should really bat here?
Venable -higher OPS than Headley places him above him in batting order
Maybin -hopefully lowest pressure spot
I think Maybin 7th makes the most sense though if he blossoms would definitely be a great guy to having batting first. Hopefully next year.
I wrote it and said , “That ain’t right!” But why fix it? Buddy will be moving them around so much it doesn’t really matter.
@Pat I agree regarding Maybin hitting 8th. Probably not the best spot… even though I penciled him in there.
I’m hoping this will get Venable to be more discipline with his approach. There were times last year where he’d foul off pitches after pitches only to have him expand his strike zone during other at bats.
Perhaps, getting him to set his approach to lead off will improve his approach overall.
Bartlett and Hudson can be swapped with Hudson having more power.
Ludwick, it’s time to show up, and can be swapped with Hawpe/Cantu. I’m hoping at some point Headley will take over the 4 spot. I’d put Hundley at 7 and pitchers at 8 so the opposing hitters have to pitch to Maybin. In this way, Maybin is another lead off batter in the second cycle through the lineup with the advantage of already having seen what the opposing pitchers are offering.
Of course, i have no idea what i’m talking about, but this will be the lineup I’d have in my baseball video game.
Nice Didi! I like it.
Venable looked better in the 2 position last year than any other part of the lineup. Maybin and Hundley could switch between the 7 and 8 spot. It’s that middle of the order that’s tough to position. Hudson leads off for his speed, Bartlett at 3rd for his contact. Ludwick or Hawpe could be cleanup, but I’d keep Cantu 5th or lower. Headley and Venable could switch between the 2 and 6 spots too. Either way, definitely not a set-in-stone lineup.
Oh, and I expect to see a LOT of small ball that got the Padres a great start like last year. I don’t see the dominance with our starting staff, but our bullpen should be just as good, if not better.
When Hawpe is playing 1B
When Cantu is playing 1B
In this last line-up you can probably just move around the #3, 4 and 5 hitters depending on who’s hotter at the moment. Also, Dino is playing cause, presumably there is a LHP on the mound that day.
I think Hundley will step up as the season goes along and will move up in the line-up, same with Maybin as I think that he will be our #2 hitter before the season is over.
Definitely a make or break season for Headley and Venable; they have got to prove themselves or there will be changes made
You guys make it seem that Maybin is doomed if he bats in the 8 hole. If he doesn’t learn discipline, he might be.
Remember, Khalil Greene’s best year for OBP was when he was our 8 hole for most of his rookie season in ’04. His discipline got worse and worse after he was moved out of that spot. Batting Maybin in the 8 hole might force him to learn the strike zone. Then again, he’s not going to get to run very often if he’s on base in front of the 9 hole. So yeah, while I hate seeing the pitcher bat in the 8 hole, it would make a lot of sense to do it in this spot with Maybin.
@Pat I would think that knowing that you can expect to see more balls than usual will make them easier to lay off.
I’ll lay off the lineup speculation, since the simulations people claim batting order doesn’t matter much.
What puzzles me is what Jed Hoyer sees in Moseley. He was a long reliever/spot starter for the Yankees last year and couldn’t win with that team scoring runs in bunches. I’d hate to think of that performance combined with the Padres offense. Josh Geer could do the same thing for less money. So why did Jed pick him up?
shouldnt u wait till after training
Well, Moseley is pretty much the definition of a replacement level pitcher, while Geer was below replacement level.
Seriously though, the 5th starter is going to be variable based on performance and injuries. Whoever gets the job out of camp probably won’t be there halfway through the season.
last year i liked venable in the leadoff spot, his aggressiveness on the basepaths along with the threat of some pop in his bat seems like it has the potential to be effective there. i dont see much difference right now between hawpe, ludwick, and headley. the lineup really does strike me as pretty interchangable all the way through so i’d expect another season where its different every day, though hundley probably shouldn’t ever be above 6th, and maybin probably shouldn’t either until his tools turn into numbers
@Swingingfriar19: “Doomed” seems a bit of an overstatement.
@Ray: I don’t know, Ray, could be. I sure hope he succeeds wherever he ends up in the lineup!